The interior of the David Collins Studio–designed Owner’s Villa at the Delaire Graff Estate.
Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID COLLINS STUDIO

Inside David Collins Studio’s Most Remarkable Hotel Interiors

Cultivating luxurious and livable suites around the globe, Simon Rawlings is building on the work of the firm’s eponymous founder

Simon Rawlings. Photo: KENSINGTON LEVERNE

Many stylish notables like Coco Chanel, Oscar Wilde, and Tory Burch have made hotels their residences. While living in a hotel is not as popular as it once was, it is now de rigueur that opulent resorts feel less formulaic and more like high-end homes.

Their guests, in turn, find inspiration in these masterfully designed interiors, so much so that it’s not uncommon that a souvenir from their stay might be a piece of furniture from their suite. Rising to the occasion are many of the world’s leading interior designers. 

TAK Room in New York's Hudson Yards. Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID COLLINS STUDIO

The late great Irish architect David Collins, who established his namesake studio in 1985, was highly instrumental in creating the look and feel of London’s most celebrated restaurants and bars such as the Wolseley and the Blue Bar at the Berkeley. Collins died seven years ago, but the studio’s work continues. Under the creative direction of Simon Rawlings (who joined the firm over 20 years ago), it continues to add to its large roster of impressive clients, including such recent projects as the Connaught Bar in London, Thomas Keller’s TAK Room in New York’s Hudson Yards, the Mandarin Oriental Doha in Qatar, new lodges at the Delaire Graff Estate in South Africa, and a cruise ship for Cunard, set to sail in 2022.

The Connaught Bar in Mayfair. Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID COLLINS STUDIO

Rawlings’s approach to window treatments that both enhance the vistas beyond and overcome some spatial challenges is a technique worth replicating. The Owner’s Villa at the Delaire Graff Estate, for example, allows guests to enjoy an outdoor dining room with a system of shutters that serve to simultaneously mitigate the often-gusty winds and preserve the stunning views of Stellenbosch Mountain. At the Apartment, a luxurious two-bedroom suite at London’s Connaught hotel, Rawlings overcame the limitations of relatively small windows by surrounding the portals with mirrored panels to create an expansive optical illusion and designing very clever ombré-effect curtains to draw the eye upward, making the space seem loftier.

See a selection of David Collins Studio’s most inspired hotel designs below.

The interior of the David Collins Studio–designed Owner’s Villa at the Delaire Graff Estate. Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID COLLINS STUDIO

The interior of the David Collins Studio–designed Owner’s Villa at the Delaire Graff Estate. Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID COLLINS STUDIO

Interiors

Alexandra Champalimaud on Reviving the World’s Most Legendary Hotels

The Mandarin Doha. Photo: COURTESY OF DAVID COLLINS STUDIO

The interior of the David Collins Studio–designed Mandarin Oriental, Doha.

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2020 Summer issue under the headline “Suite Inspiration.” Subscribe to the magazine.

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